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Some freelance clients come and go, some re-surface, and some stay. Over the years I’ve celebrated client anniversaries with a card or small gift. On one occasion I sent a gift basket as a client anniversary gift thanking a company for retaining my work for 3 years (and counting).

This year I want to do something different. One: I don’t want to single out clients and celebrate their individual anniversaries this year. Instead, since it is my five year anniversary in business (four years full-time), I want to send a thank you to EVERY person and organization I have ever worked with since they have all contributed to my business. Two: I want to find something unique – something that is not a gift basket, flowers, wine, mug, or artistically sculptured fruit.

Upon a search I found these fantastic paperweight dandelions. I know. Paperweights? Boring! Sorry, these are awesome. It’s a real dandelion puff captured in resin. However, these come with a real steep price tag: Approximately $80 each.

dandelion paperweight

The gifts must meet a few requirements:

  • Budget. Since I want to send gifts to all clients I’ve worked with—projects small and large—over the past five years, I need approximately 40 gifts. I’d like to spend $10-15 on each item, but $25 is my max. This includes everything, including postage.
  • Weather. I was thinking of having custom chocolates made, but we are warming up here in the South and I don’t want a perishable item.

Now for ideas! Some of these are a little different, others are traditional. I’m brainstorming. Let me know what you think!

  1. Plantable cards. I love these plantable bird cards. You plant the cards and wildflowers grow. These plantable thank you cards are French AND grow herbs. I could write a note: “Celebrating a growing business, thanks to you.”

    plantable cards

    Plantable birds!

  2. gift treesGift trees. Love these!! What’s with me and planting? I guess it was from planting three dozen trees last weekend. These gift trees from Arbor Day Fund come tubed and ready to plant. Choose from Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Arizona Cypress, Ponderosa Pine, Coast Redwood, Bald cypress, Longleaf Pine, White Pine. There is an $80 setup charge for a four-color custom label with photo/logo (B&W and no customization options available), then $3 per tree. Free shipping for ordering 50+. Why not? We can plant the extras in our woods!
  3. luck garden

    Luck garden!

    Luck garden. This is an adorable “luck garden” that really grabs my attention. It’s a little clover garden. Possibilities are endless for puns on “luck.”

  4. USB flash drives. Okay, this one is not super unique, and with the way our world is moving toward cloud-based storage, this might be dating itself. However, these custom USB flash drives fit my budget perfectly.
  5. Magnet. Magnets are not as exciting, but I thought instead of a discardable calendar – maybe 10 writing tips? These postcard-sized magnets could fit a few tips.
  6. Pen. This is so cliche for a writer! Maybe? These calligraphy pens are $15 each.
  7. M&Ms. This does break my rule above since the weather is getting warmer. I could delay sending packages until the fall. These M&M business gifts are pretty fun – but also a little corny.
  8. Custom coffee blend. Counter Culture Coffee here in the Triangle creates custom blends for different restaurants. I could ask them to make a ‘writer blend.’
  9. North Carolina honey. These honey sticks could help spread how “sweet” business is because of them. Or these traditional honey bears featuring NC honey would be sweet too.
  10. Tiffany’s. At first I thought this would not be in the budget. But as I browsed these business gifts from Tiffany & Co – I came across a beautiful leatherbound dayplanner for only $25. Definitely on the high end of my budget. I may get these next year for select clients. Getting a gift in the Tiffany blue box says a lot!